Recovering the cutting edge
2 Kings 6:1-7
I have been on the campuses of our six Southern Baptist seminaries in recent weeks. God is doing an amazing thing among Southern Baptists. This fall a record enrollment of over 13,000 students is jamming our six seminaries. A common problem is lack of housing for the increasing numbers of students. This problem is not new. Elisha faced it at his own seminary in the Jordan valley. The book of 2 Kings details the story of the building of a new dormitory to house his students. When they were cutting down the trees, one of the men’s axe heads flew off the handle and into the river. The rest of the story is taken up with recovering the lost axe head.
What is the axe head? It is the cutting edge. For us, it is the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. All the education in the world will not suffice for the cutting edge. All the natural ability in the world will not suffice for the cutting edge. The cutting edge is the life of Christ made real in me through the Holy Spirit as I continually yield myself to Him.
Does anyone reading these words need to recover the cutting edge? This account in 2 Kings shows us the way.
I. The problem simplified (v. 5)
It was lost! The young man admitted that he lost it. Some of us never quite get to this place.
II. The problem clarified (v. 5)
It was “borrowed.” It wasn’t his. It belonged to another. And so it is with the cutting edge. We don’t possess the power of God. He possesses us.
III. The problem identified (v. 6)
The young man showed Elisha the place where he lost it. It is not enough to admit we have lost the cutting edge, we must return to where we lost it. Perhaps it was lost in the waters of worldliness or even in the stagnant pools of indifference.
IV. The problem nullified (v. 6)
The young man was willing to trust the supernatural power of God for the recovery of the cutting edge. Elisha took a small tree, threw it into the water, and he made the iron float.
V. The problem rectified (v. 7)
Elisha told the young man to pick it up for yourself. So he reached out his hand and took it. Some continue to live without the cutting edge even though they have seen the supernatural power of God because they will not, as an act of their will, reach out and take it.
What about you? Are you simply swinging axe handles at the trees of life only to return home bruised and battered while the sound of the felling of trees remains silent? There is a lot of difference in something done for God and something done by God. The cutting edge is the life of Christ made real in you through the Holy Spirit. Nothing suffices for the cutting edge in ministry. Reach and take it!